Skip to main content
8:00 pm
were that profound throughout but that seemed to me -- anyone who saw the picture and that is why you selected those photographs, i would like to hear about that in terms of the true similarities and i would love to hear any comments you would care to share when families got together for the unveiling and two sides of the family together to describe in appropriate ways the interaction between them. >> the families do find a resemblance. i was actually in nashville recently where another member of the shields family and others descended from the white shield family pass along a photo that shifts the brother of her owner was remarking on the resemblance. dolphus who lived in birmingham, the first lady's great great grandfather lived there at the
8:01 pm
same time his wife's half brother lived there and they lived not far. his brother lived kind of clothes to wear dolphus had a carpentry shop. people who knew him said he had a white visitor who would come and talk, of which was spun usual at that time and a very segregated city for the end of his life. this woman said that was his brother. the question of whether or not these connections even if they didn't talk about them, whether they did extend beyond millvinia and dolphus's father. as for this reunion, it was really fascinating. it was millvinia's descendant and descendants of millvinia's the owners lose some came from georgia and drove from alabama.
8:02 pm
we had a ceremony at clayton county with this monument in honor of millvinia and her life. a kind of exchange stories about what they had known. they looked at each other's photographs, they had a meal together, there is an effort underway in the town where millvinia lived in kingston, georgia, to do some commemorative work. she was in a cemetery, church cemetery, an effort to try to get one and i hear from the shield's family often about when that will happen because they would like to come. i don't know how long this kind of connection and interest will last that they are still
8:03 pm
interested. >> any more questions? we have just a little bit of time? no time. thank you, rachel. thank you so much. in her book, trains have been coming true nine reports that former allies of the first lady. this is just over 50 minutes. >> welcome to the richard nixon presidential library museum.
8:04 pm
my name is paul wormser and the exact give director of the library. i appreciate all of you coming to one of our continuing talks and presentations. today we are very fortunate to have the leading scholar on pat nixon who 100 years ago this year. mary brennan, who did much of the research year is the chair of the department of history at the university of texas. her specialty is post-world war ii conservative movement to debate three different books. turning right in the 60s conservator capture of the gop, weiss and others, conservative
8:05 pm
women in the crusade against communism and of course the book with a bus around here which is "pat nixon: embattled first lady." her book is an outstanding work and i would like to help me welcome her out onto the stage to talk about her work. [applause] thank you, paul. it's such a great honor to be back at the nixon library. i did much of my research year and i feel very close to all of the people here because they were so helpful to me in learning but i did about pat. i'd like to begin with the story. one evening in 1954 at the next exited the dinner was president eisenhower's who's going to speak. an indian woman sitting on the bench at the banquet hall. when he said no to continue down
8:06 pm
the stairs. halfway down the amount of the woman with the woman was sitting. i spoke with a woman and asked her if they had not met previously. when the woman replied that they had come a pat asked about her stay in the u.s. acquired wishers in the hallway. the woman explained she was returning in a few days and hope to catch a glance of the president before she went home. i've been arranged for the woman to be given a seat at the dinner so she could hear the speech. nixon then lost the hearts are continuing to the previous engagement. i use the story to be different type visit to exemplify several key points i wish to make about pat nixon and her public role. more particularly about her role as foreign diplomat. the path that a woman during one of her trial a second review.
8:07 pm
the traveling she does was the best part of her job as a political wife. sector, is not the wife of ambassador were statesmen. she was just a young woman who would come to the united states versus the second lady and had come to the united states to study. she treated everyone should not as if they were the most important person in the world. the people she met sensors and scared and responded to it. third, she was happiest in her role when she could take action. the part of the nixon surat and engagement they were going to was not as important at that moment is getting this visitor from india a seat at the. in the greater scheme of things, it's really a small act, but it left a lasting impression on indian woman involved in women
8:08 pm
at the table that she was eventually seated at. the how we actually know about the event when she ended up sitting with responded and wrote later about it. politics is their job and when she didn't always enjoy. one occasion she was proud of her work in helping to a sense for the party, she found many frustrating and mindnumbing. by the end of the first term she expressed her jealousy of her friends reentry into the workforce. she will come out with a to do part-time work rather than all the useless gapping and expected to do. meeting famous men and women and claim our dinners at the white house not only 13 of constant away from chatter with him and she didn't always like. for someone who had worked her entire life and she had worked hard her entire list from the situation good times be
8:09 pm
intolerable. it was not the physical charges await her down. she resented not been useful, not to us a meaningful. perhaps that is why foreign travel appealed to her. during her trips overseas, she thought she was played an important role. she was representing american interests abroad. her introduction came during her first year a second lady when president eisenhower sent his vice president on a tour beginning in asia and continuing to the subcontinent during the fall of 1953. president eisenhower told vice president he should take out within. now she realized this was going to be work, but it's going to be interesting. pat described exactly the same words in a letter she wrote to her good friend along with the minimal entourage that included a military aide and the state
8:10 pm
department representative chemistry press representatives, two secret service agents, nixon's administration assistant and the only other woman on the trip, rosemary would come in the next part of the 42,000-mile journey. a little more than two months the group visited over 15 countries, attended hundreds of state dinners and participated in memorable ceremony since the millions of people. the state department approved the group in the countries and people they be visiting. at these briefings very much to heart. in fact, when i broke the group told a reporter a few years later that pat are the groups walking cyclopedia whenever they needed information about what country they were in the culture committee returned to her because she would have the information. her husband concentrate on the larger mission of reassuring american allies, clarify and
8:11 pm
eisenhower's policy and attitudes towards communism. thoughts roll was to meet the people. they've never been interested in for my socializing and so she requested to be kept to a minimum so they can meet with as many different people as possible the countries they visited. pat recognize there is a job to be done to she wrote a travel diary or could not help but be caught up in the thrill. even sadness did not completely overwhelm her excitement. their combined with the gross enthusiasm of new and different site the top of pages of her diary. she gleefully recorded her initiations ceremony she crossed the equator for the first time. quote, where the crime as defined by the crew. he is ended a frolic with the
8:12 pm
hostess arranged a sawmill entertainment quite risqué. on the 14th of october wire had to take part in a dialogue and actions of the native century. both she had participated in the custom of no stripping. although she said she felt safe with that of the disheveled lined up for a procession serving, wanted to be good sports. she had more problems because she also visited the kitchen where the women were cooking the food they were going to be eating later on. she said it was so dirty and unsanitary issues quite. eating the food and had learned the art of pushing food on her plate and covering things up. this proved to be the case on the overseas trip.
8:13 pm
although their schedules were official duty on the conditions could be challenging were thrilled at the country. in the 1956, she intended to be whistling a president in rio de janeiro, a city she called him a spectacularly beautiful city she had ever seen and were fabulous. she did find the epiphany january said there was something that had a degree climate change when they went in one day. in july of that year, the nixon set off on another to her. she explained in a letter that this was the fastest trip in the course of one day there were three countries. thailand, pakistan and turkey. although her husband met with leaders from she again had to reschedule. in the end she wrote it was in
8:14 pm
such a short time so much could be accomplished. in november 1958, he traveled to london or pat white as much a surprise with her wardrobe in the unspoiled manner. the following it with the soviet union and poland. in moscow, confronted her shots in the debate in which the two leaders at the communism and capitalism and addition of the american consumer day. once again have their own agenda. he might've gotten more headlines from a passenger actually said that women and children all made a lasting impression. there are kinds of pictures handing out candy that made it into a magazine. more importantly her pointed questions to kirchoff about his absence went to mrs. kirchoff as
8:15 pm
well as other soviet officials at the event during this visit. he told one reporter to have a woman on the diplomatic mission. he can make friends in different ways than men. overwhelmed by the outpouring and cheers that greeted nixon's visit travel to the streets of poland. pat was not easily rattled how to fight back tears according to one news account of their arrival in poland. the first lady on this tenure satyr and her recognition of the important role on the increase. the winterset traveler became much more aware of that the position. certified resistors lady she visited around the world more than once to a company or has not groundbreaking trip to china and set new precedents herself by traveling solo ascent show
8:16 pm
representative that the united states of liberia in 1972 and repeating the task in 1974 by attending the swearing-in ceremony of ernesto gesell. wherever she went, she found missing practice utilized during her travels in 1950. she strove to make as many friends as possible for herself in the country. her desire to make friends everywhere i have had political consequences that arose the dignitary to the people of the country she visited. in part because of a connection she never forgot who she was and where she came from her she was the daughter of a truck farmer who supported herself since she was a teenager. at one point during the administration she told a childhood friend even though she felt inadequate that it is only part right from artesia and the
8:17 pm
people should not were so gracious that she felt comfortable considering the important work she and her husband were doing. since she came from a small town, she understood to shape a hand of the second or first lady of the united states or to receive a letter from the white house. from the first of the second lady, she attended official business issues supposed to. she also insisted on having her on separate itinerary that went beyond just a government-sponsored recruit women social. she made it a point to seek out the institution that affected women and children. the business teacher had taught at her reaction to people she met in short hand on official schedule. during her vice presidential trip, she met with the hospital for the aged care she commented
8:18 pm
the old people were thrilled because nobody had been to see them in the philippine she visited an orphanage in a training center for learning trade which can be done in the home. in south korea she went to republican korea division hospital gave out candy and cigarettes. her brief comments indicated the state of things sane when did on army cots and army blankets. i second lady institutions promoting industry, training women to report themselves in setting up neighborhood to make unscheduled stops, she thought they were able to get the real picture. in general people can sense genuinely interested. that is what they tried to do, to show the people they were
8:19 pm
visiting that they were interested in them as people. someone once asked pat why she could appear to be so interested in all these diverse people that should not. she said that's because i am. she says i look at the person i'm talking to and i know they have a story to tell and i want to hear that story. if allender is paying attention to them on talking to them. pat took her role as representative of the united states very seriously. there's part of an important official chain as an impression on the people she met. her husband was on and around the world is in a strip and had run into what he called the pat nixon trail. he wrote that pat rang a bell in this part of the world at a time when americans were not popular. an american couple hardly similar level after her return
8:20 pm
from a priest in a couple for bringing a fresh understanding of america. president eisenhower priest mixed in for work on her chair. even american press. they said although they did not make speeches or carry on high policy discussions, shoot or her full share of the workload. her love of travel, a quick smile and kind heart and dear to people should not to make her wonderful, unofficial ambassador of the united states. in fact, rome is the liberator of this country's most effective female basket or a goodwill and a two through african italy and watching the she quote by the thousands and potent case that the distance, end quote.
8:21 pm
without talking politics, pat managed to bring not only ragged women in a stock market, but also muhamed singh agreed to hear an unprecedented from the audience. her goal she told was to convince people to enjoy bringing here and are generally interested in them. they see the importance and the role of the time the soviet trip pat s. ambassador to goodwill had one of "the new york times," calling her a diplomat in high heels and described her as self-made and precise. the capitol press club, an organization of african-american news correspondents presented her with international relations award in 1957, recognizing her goodwill activities among people of eight african countries, end quote. they show serious americans have
8:22 pm
been ambassador of goodwill. deputy attorney general volumetrics wrote a trip to europe during which had been guarded with requests for her presence on the next vice presidential trip. he played an important role in affairs. of all of her response ability to travel not only to shout at you, but also about her to feel useful and necessary part of an important enterprise. the nixon's had been a team in a crucial player as can take off in different directions as the sidelines, overseeing she was still significant, but something larger. foreign travel weather has been our honor on continued to allow her to participate in the
8:23 pm
political realm in a positive way at a time and many others were limited. much of her time in the white house against her advice, opinions or presence. many men treated her as a prop to be used for publicity purposes only. her domestic agenda, her first lady cause did not ignite passion of the public. plus, she faced challenges on someone in movement has supermom and super wife from a feminist press for that matter has been pressuring to politics. a more conservative press priester willingness to stand by her husband. the woman hated the increase lack of privacy and longed for something meaningful to do. traveling abroad took her away from frustrations at home and allow her to be herself. even her husband who exploited her most important policy decisions did recognize as an
8:24 pm
asset when it came to foreign policy. years later he told her he can enter in a series of interviews that pat always handled herself very properly, even the sensitive diplomatic conversation that she might inadvertently overhear. he explained that she listened and nodded but never me, sever him. at the same time, he relied on the thing he did not because i think that it was very observant. a small diplomatic tasks also provided nixon with cover it demanded more of a government policy. she was a woman he could trust to do what he expected to do. traveling did more than desired or adventure of visiting new places. it was way of reconnecting with the husband. she had never been more a part of his life and work them when they travel together traina vice
8:25 pm
presidential years. certainly circumstances have changed. now they travel the huge entourage and feeling towards the u.s. hardened over the year. the ability demonstrated by the blindness by yourself must've got a fighter. in 1970, epitomized her value as a foreign ambassador. 1970 and earthquake measuring 7.75 on the wreck or scale devastated parts of peru, killing 50,000 people are facing hundreds of thousands of others. mudslides caused further damage. hamas, entered and starving, survivors rushed to the coastal area in the news of loved ones. as news reports filter back, president nixon promised 10
8:26 pm
bundlers and 10 bundler zenaida solis promising to an army navy helicopters to the search and rest emission. the american public moved by the devastation had begun donating supplies and money to be sent to people in korea. similarly a pathetic, pat wanted to help. during the weekend at camp david a couple discussed the situation with the possibility of delivering donations from the american people down to peru. a week later she flew to peru in the conservative solace, way for the permanent president and l-lima to deliver donations to visit the injured and homeless. she took with her 18,000 pounds of blankets and other goods as well as during her brief stay she accompanied by nature the most devastating regions on a small plane sitting all manner repurposed kitchen chair with no seatbelt. walking amid the rebel she offered comfort to those who had
8:27 pm
lost everything. her genuine concern and sympathy did much to ease the tension existed between the u.s. and the ascension to power. they noted profound significance of this is. enter human warmth, and identification of the peruvian people the editorial continued she had gone beyond the norm of international courtesy. the people of peru appreciated the understanding and concern she demonstrated in our sorrow. on her departure they weren't at the grand cross of the order of the sun. even the "washington post" really had much cause you to say that the nixon administration admitted she had threaded her way among all potential sources of trouble at an early and the skill, epitomized in the simple human response required by the
8:28 pm
tragedy to succeed in communicating two programs a general desire to help and have done so for all what she deserved much credit. the trip to kirsch is the potential for the goodwill ambassador. her trip to fighting which africa displayed determination to break through constraints of her first lady role. in 1972, pat set up an eight day, 10,000-mile trip to the african continent where she visited siberia,, and the ivory coast. the primary mission was to participate in the inauguration of the new president of liberia. for the first time, the first lady would be the official representative of the united states. as such, pat met privately with premaster cozied buffa and
8:29 pm
edward khufu auto, and president bush say that the ivory coast. her official parity of 40 included u.s. to liberia as well as the reverend billy graham is both managers and the president of the publishing company, which published at nhs. in addition to meetings, press conferences and speeches before political parties come african history of pat and our trash to a whirlwind of dinners, receptions and presentations. her responsibilities on the trip very seriously. duly noted in her biography, the cynic could be a christmas day over her briefing notes and organize them as to the upcoming trip. although the state department and staff prepared remarks for her, she went over them, making
8:30 pm
changes where she felt necessary inhabiting point she wanted to have a size. in liberia she placed her hopes by noticing how pressed she was by the considerable development that occurs since her last visit in 1857. and, she traveled to pay her respects to 83-year-old chief policy on who she met during the vice presidential visit. he told her she had forged a friendship between the american people that not even a lion could rake, end quote. before she left she spoke for the national assembly, delivering a rare speech. in each of the countries, pat spoke with the leader about her husband's upcoming trip to china from explaining he did not intend to normalize relations, but open a dialogue pitch shows have reiterated america's promise of financial assistance to aid in development announced
8:31 pm
the creation of two scholarships for women to travel to the united states and study. sadr official pronouncement however the earned her the accolade from the country she visited her back home with her warmth, enthusiasm of a genuine appreciation and affection for the people she met. in liberia, she gushed a reporter she cannot wait to get around to meet some people. she certainly did that. she waited in the crowd, shaking hands, giving hugs and patting backs at the inauguration she could present a colder and embrace protocol to implement of courage, strength and character and fortitude of spirit, end quote. when a group of women presented her with traditional cloth rather than put expecting the gifts and slipping it under her chair, she sit up and began to tied around her waist. the women were shocked to realize what she was trying to do and immediately got up and
8:32 pm
came to help her and director of the traditional clothing had passed a outfit and willingness to model in front of her audience and the cameras spoke volumes about her respect to the culture and people she was visiting. if you had a chance to visit these exhibits, you'll see there's a wonderful picture of pat and a blue headdress or you can get your picture taken. that is the most beautiful picture of pat nixon you can find in it speaks volumes about how she felt about her ability to go out and meet people and play a role in to show them the respect. you can see in her eyes in that picture that this is very much some thing. it wasn't something she was putting on. do something she believed in very deeply. i let the nurse photos a huge grin on her face, whether she
8:33 pm
watches a tribal dance, listening to speech or traveling in a motorcade route she participated in a tribal dance, which is doing another photo. returned home triumphant light, heralded at the press. "time" magazine declared her african queen for week of "the new york times" marveled at the luxury monrovia, loved her in accra to. i would make when marcello trip as first lady. may 274-1010 of the inauguration and made a stop in venezuela. by this point, her credentials as diplomat, diplomatic asset has been well-established. however conduct in the midst of the watergate scandal the media put little attention to the three cities travel itinerary, which is quite a shame because if you remember caracas an assist for nixon had a terrible experience during the vice presidential year and this is one of the first trips that they are and even the venezuelan
8:34 pm
press touted the american press really did not relate the significance of her trip to caracas. most of the attention was on her husband's political problems back home. 1972 was in many ways to have a wonderful experience, she comes back from africa in february they prepared the groundbreaking trip to peking and in general go to moscow. pat prove she did not have to be supplied solo to make a difference during an official trip. meeting with leaders who negotiated worrying and communicate had toured the country that whatever citizenship is allowed to attend cultural events. the next meeting open communications between countries will pat help support good feeling among people of countries involved in international relations.
8:35 pm
nixon had determined anti-communism in the 1940s and 50s have been working between the u.s. and the people's republic of china for years. once he became president, he and his national security adviser henry kissinger explored avenues of communication in china. by mid-1971, efforts have paid off and had an invitation to the president to visit the king. not only would nixon be the first u.s. president to visit the people's republic of china, but because of china's self-imposed isolation, one of the limited group of westerners would ever been there. as a result, there is tremendous worldwide interest in the trip. when china decided to allow the american press to tag along with the president nixon, people around the world followed
8:36 pm
december 1972 jeremy. trim is a cluster with the chinese that are much of the time, type the representative who introduced americans to china represented the american people for the chinese. if she had not already realized the great responsibility she had on her shoulders, briefing papers on the state department made it explicitly clear, emphasizing her role as unique opportunity to trip represented to reestablish communication between the women of china and america. the state department reminded or should be the first indian american woman the chinese have not. the coverage provided her with the unprecedented opportunity to influence the way in which americans to the chinese,
8:37 pm
chinese women and social order. pat responded to the pressure to intensify and the normal homework routine she follows her in a chip from a study in her state department briefing papers carefully connoting quotations from now, learning useful chinese and worrying about her schedules. on most of the church she had taken during the 1950s so far as first lady, pat had insisted on attending more than usual teas and receptions. they visit hospitals, schools and other facilities that help women are the poor. this time however she had very little control over what she could do, where she could go. although she had a feeling she was being isolated from the public, she one of the people she gave me until diplomatically with those who try to convert her. she recounted the impact people
8:38 pm
from the young revolutionary committee tried to impeach any political discussion, she would smile and say i'm acquainted with his philosophy. when the cooks to the kitchen of the hotel, to the vice chairman of the evergreen people's commune premiered himself or the chinese multivendor platform smile and genuine enthusiasm for experiencing new cultures. during her visit to the kitchen with 115 cooks, she quietly sampled their creations, including a fiery stuffed pickles squash. reporters were impressed. they could need it, but she did. at the state dinner drum on the cigarette holder when pat asked if you are a cigarette, he responded with candid. pat but they accepted the gift.
8:39 pm
nixon also realized that talking to the prc, talking to chinese leaders worry the soviets. then they came back from a visit to china, they would also go back to the soviet union. as a result in late may, early june 1972, pat traveled to moscow where met with soviet leaders will follow a separate schedule, accompanied at various times by either mr. andra gromyko, understood the soviet leadership learned their lesson about the wives that were pat was going to be there. watched a rehearsal of the bolshoi ballet school, visited the schoolchildren into a department store. she also attended a russian circus for performing their startled her on a site so much out of the ordinary to press reported on it in the american paper. as had become her pattern, pat whenever both russian people and
8:40 pm
reporters who accompanied her. the russians as was the poster polls during the visit there appreciated the first lady's delight of the ballet, circus, affection for schoolchildren she met in an easy manner with the soviet leaders. in fact at one point, mrs. nixon grabbed the hand of mrs. brashness in the throng, surrounding the women, determination to stop and talk to people who come out to meet or see her also earned affection of population. during the next then stop at attended a she rose to lead she walked towards them to shake hands and talk to the people. she refused to join the group responded warmly with some take out their top another skimming
8:41 pm
her hand. for their part to reporters from even sometimes critical u.s. correspondents were extremely complementary. the globe descriptor is remarkable saleswomen at the london daily mail claim she was the best for woman has since invented lipstick and a herald reporter got a warm feeling of being hands. pat earned the respect and gratitude of some of the reporters by her behavior during the visit to the department store. around the trip from reporters are forced to battle the police regarding mrs. nixon. situation came to a head on the third day of the visit is pat restart hundreds of people crammed on the balconies burst at an adjacent isles to catch a glimpse of her. reporters tried to cover the event found therapies for hospice of the security detail, pushing became shoving. being manhandled by officer with
8:42 pm
a of cream cone. to remedy that much with the admonition of the reporter. what's another story that reinforces past love of travel, openness to other people she met including reporters unwillingness to take whatever action was necessary from her youngest is prints or restrict ventures two years as a single woman taking off to the early years of her marriage as they shared their love visiting new places, travel and treat patco and decorated her and provided her with opportunities she might not have had otherwise. also provided a need to transfer the first lady's role. although observers often criticized her for failing to focus on a specific cause or
8:43 pm
appearing to mir to close at the eisenhower, pat succeeded in pushing limits of acceptable first lady responsibilities and behaviors especially in terms of foreign diplomacy. she traveled with in any of the first lady of her time and accompanied her husband on a groundbreaking trip to the people's republic of china. press reports of interaction offered americans a glimpse into the formerly closed society, but in experience a second lady, pat refused to limit her official first lady itinerary to acceptable ladies tees and receptions. her determination to meet with wounded american soldiers during a visit to south vietnam became the first lady to travel through combat those. pat showed the first lady was not just a ceremonial prop. the trouble successfully on her own attorney to peru following the earthquake with humanitarian
8:44 pm
relief of lima and helped to forge a new relationship between the two countries. when she attended the inauguration, she became the first sitting president to serve an official representative to a foreign country. as enthusiastic response to the people she met in south america and africa served as a diplomatic purpose for has-been and secured an opening for the future first lady to explore. in fact, the initial success of diplomacy but for taking additional trips to her husband's terms in office. like almost everything else connected to richard nixon come expansion of the role of first lady was lost in the midst of watergate. rather than celebrity to come to schmidts come to spend the last months in the white house avoided reporters in urging her husband to fight on. instead of the press inquiring about her next trip or, did not do. in a women's magazine, another
8:45 pm
first. the focus is on the growing scandal. even the obituaries 20 years later, 20 years after visit nation concentrated more on watergate the non-activity is first lady. pat never came to the politics, but i she had her entire life, she made the best of a bad situation, building on natural abilities, both innate openness and keen observation skills, pat opened the door for the first lady to become an essential part of her husband policy changes. she finally did center niche in policy. thank you very much. [applause] i'd be happy to answer any questions. nobody has any questions? >> hi, ms. brennan. when you were you doing research for the book, did you contact
8:46 pm
the daughter for input or insight that help you gather information needed and are defined at the library. >> julie helped me gain access to the rest of her mother's papers into helping brown's papers and i corresponded with her by e-mail and masse to do an interview and said he said everything in the book and unless i have a specific question that she really didn't want to see and to be a cynic could not contact. >> could you expand a little more on the first lady's domestic agenda -- [inaudible] >> and she became first lady a difficult time. she had an agenda. her first as volunteerism, although she's very interested in reading.
8:47 pm
a volunteerism is something very dear to her because she did very much believe in people helping other people. you have to remember 1969 the country was in tremendous turmoil says something like volunteerism is not going to be a cause that would catch on with the general public. she also did run into obstacles of a very tense situation between the west wing in a string. she did run into issues in terms of being able to explore and find herself. she did have other things domestically although jackie kennedy gets a tremendous amount or redecorating the white house and actually pat did more of that. she hired a protocol officer from the state department and the two of them went around the country making deals with different newsstands to get in the white house and restore the white house to the point of the
8:48 pm
jackie kennedy came back the first time since she had left in 1963, 1964, she commented on how wonderful a job pat had been redecorating. it also took her a little while to get her stride in a she was kind of moving in that direction. amidst all of this, kind of the double whammy for shifting historical circumstances in the public problem she had within the administration in terms of being able to find her own path. i think the other reality is she actually felt this comfortable traveling and meeting people and kind of been able to get out amongst the people. >> she was embattled. did you mean during watergate or after the president?
8:49 pm
>> well, i have to be honest with you and i don't know if the press at appreciate my famous, but when i wrote the manuscript embattled first lady was actually a chapter that dealt with her problems within the white house. i named the hope of pat nixon, and room in the white house, which i thought was what she represented. if they like to embattled first lady, so the price wins. so that's kind of how happened. >> ms. brennan, will you kindly speak to pat ryan before she was mrs. nixon? >> certainly. two amid talk about her childhood? >> i was also by key to respond, was she a teacher? >> as, actually she had -- when i said at the end that she had
8:50 pm
her whole life, she made the best of a bad situation. her mother died when she was 12 and she had to brothers and help take care of the house to keep everything in order where she got very good grades and ended up to refocus circumstances that she and her two brothers graduated from high school at the same time. she skipped ahead. one of her brothers represent. they all ended up graduating at the same time. to graduate from high school around the time their father became seriously ill. they had to to reach find jobs to help support the fine come eventually decided they needed to go ahead and tell the fine they went on and we're going to decide who's going to college because all three want to go to college. they decided the one brother had a scholarship and he would go to college first and the other two would work. so she worked to support the
8:51 pm
brother and at one point there is a couple that higher to drive across the country. the idea was she would drive across to new york, visit the fathers relatives and they would pay her. but when they got to new york and that the relative, they ended up offering her a job. so she lived in new york by herself for a year. she worked in the hospital there. she had tremendous adventures to kind of read between the lines and letters to her brothers. she was having a great time. she flirted with the doctor. according to her relatives, one it to marry her. she had adventures. during snowstorms they would go sled riding and somebody said, archer afraid you're going to get a quick she said no, i don't worry about that.
8:52 pm
eventually her brother wrote tour inside to save up enough money and come back at she came back, went to college and was working on a business degree. she really had hoped to be what we call today a personal buyer, a personal shopper. she realized it was going to take too long to work her way up and she was a very practical woman. she said i get my teaching certificate as well. so she got her teaching certificate and got a job in whittier. it was while she was in whittier teaching a school there when shekinah for the first time in her life had enough money and enough freedom to take little trips that she wanted to tape. she hasn't referenced that she would go in as a pre-shoot off a little excursions. but it's also while she's there for one of the older teachers said were doing a community play
8:53 pm
and it would probably be a good idea if you're in the sky and i was back in the day when older teacher told you she did a pair associate benin theater before. filibusters have been far-fetched. they met. i would also encourage you if you have not, the other part is she willing to d.c. to see see a different side is to read the excerpts from the love letter. we have a tendency to think of him. one of the most eye-opening experiences of doing that research was reading love letters between the two of them. vicious all of these letters, writing back and forth. and especially him, he was really chasing her. and he would sometimes need a ride into the los angeles, said he would take her to los angeles and maybe to be somebody else
8:54 pm
they are. but he would take her and then they would go on long drives up the coast and they would each take a book. they would get out of the car with a picnic lunch and a treat their own book. it's a very quiet kind of dating. but eventually it kind of progress into something else and they agreed to get married. so it's not necessarily -- it's kind of one of those things marriages go through that in the beginning you have this very romantic kind of relationship. even when first elected to congress from the first trip abroad, letters are filled with visions for what's going to happen when we come back. they have this wonderful nursery. i have this nursery we can take trisha down there. we'll go see out of europe. for years he promised to take her to europe and it didn't
8:55 pm
actually happen as a vacation until 1963. but he was so promising it's going to happen. does that answer your question quite i think we have time for just one more question. >> and be curious to know a little bit about her family in nevada. why did he move to california? what were his parents like? >> okay, now we're getting into a tricky area. so father was the son of irish immigrant and he had traveled around as an itinerant without a lot of different things.
8:56 pm
he was kind of talk to her about the adventures. he had been a minor. her mother was a first-generation german immigrant and her mother had been married before. her mother was -- her mother came over as a child, ended up staying and eventually married a man named vendor. they moved up to test your mother said it was? i think north dakota and he was killed in a flood of fire. actually, i chide very hard to find information about the flood that killed him. i called the archives, spoke to the archivist and really could not find a tremendous amount of information about her mother sirs has been. from that marriage, she did have two children and then she married will ryan and the move to nevada.
8:57 pm
they make to several dilettantes in nevada and he was a minor. but she has lost one has been to mining and did not want to lose another one. she was constantly putting pressure on him to give up the life, to know something to become something else can i be a farmer comes something else to be more stable and less generous. that should they move to southern california, where she continues to have dreams of kind of a goal of doing something other than being a truck farmer. but it doesn't happen the way he wants it to. >> well, thank you all. let's give mary brennan a hand. [applause]
8:58 pm
8:59 pm

Book TV
CSPAN November 11, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

Mary Brennan Education. (2012) 'Pat Nixon Embattled First Lady.'

TOPIC FREQUENCY United States 8, U.s. 7, Nixon 6, Liberia 5, Eisenhower 5, America 3, Moscow 3, New York 3, Nevada 3, Europe 3, Poland 3, Ms. Brennan 2, Mrs. Nixon 2, Pat Nixon 2, Jackie Kennedy 2, Mary Brennan 2, London 2, Whittier 2, Peru 2, Millvinia 2
Network CSPAN
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 91 (627 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 11/12/2012